Album Review: The Dears – ‘Degeneration Street’ (2011)

9 Mar

The Dears – ‘Degeneration Street’

(Dangerbird)

Skipping the alpha and going straight for the omega, Montreal neo-romanticists kick off fifth studio album Degeneration Street with the funk laiden, groove departure ‘Omega Dog’. It’s a statement of intent from leader Murray Lightburn that see’s his recently reshuffled ragamuffins give their emphatic rock a new twist and a little added spice.

Having fallen off the radar somewhat it’s clear they are willing to make amends. The album is long, weighing in at the one hour mark, and as dense as they come. It’s a lot to wade through. The lasting impression however is nothing on said opener. The music ebbs and flows, reaching dizzying highs on the beautifully melodic ‘Unsung’, ‘Thrones’ and the reminiscent poignancy of ‘Yesteryear’. But it is fundamentally too bi-polar as it then immediately sinks in tracks like ‘Galactic Tides’ and the hysterically operatic closer ‘Degeneration Street’. There simply isn’t enough consistency and we’re left feeling
slightly miffed as with such great individual composition the mish-mash of styles and themes never really come together as one coherent album.

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